how to live and travel the world from your van

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This page I wrote for my old rv website before developing the Vanabode as the best travel vehicle for cheap easy long term road trips. People still like big rv's despite the much greater cost and trouble to operate, so here's what I know about them.

How to Compare Trailer Brands and Models

Here's help choosing the right camper trailer the first time out. When considering a travel trailer, there are three issues to deal with: weight, quality and price. Since this is a a very important decision financially, you should objectively compare different trailer makes.

Weight - All trailer brands claim different weights. There are different approaches to determining weights and manufacturers use the method that makes their trailer look the best. “As shipped,” weight means the weight of the final product you will actually be towing, while some other weights are actually based on stripped-down incomplete trailers. Make sure the listed weight represent the actual model and features you want. Some companies publish weights that exclude important items like cushions, steps, spare tires, etc.

To avoid confusion weigh the trailer yourself. Some dealers will also certify the “as packaged” weight. The weight of the trailer’s construction materials is important as well. Less substantial materials like an aluminum exterior and plastic windows may weigh less, but they also provide far less insulation and structural integrity than a fiberglass exterior and glass windows. Frame materials are very important to the safety and reliability of a trailer. Make sure the frame is both high-strength and as light as possible. When weights are the same, pick the brand with superior materials.

Quality - Buying a trailer is a long-term investment in your vacation enjoyment. You want a trailer that will hold up and offer you years of trouble-free travel. Never buy a brand that uses inferior hardware or systems. or low-quality materials that won’t last.

Check the frame and see if it is powder-coated to stop corrosion. Check the insulation including the walls and floor whcih is most important after the ceiling? The underside of trailers are particularly suceptible to water seepage and rot. Look at every detail listed in the brochures and compare the specs there with the actual componenets in your trailer of interest. Do not be in a hurry. Visit RV awnings for buying the most important exterior option.

Base Price - Nobody wants to overpay, or feel scammed. So, educate yourself and make a good financial deceision AFTER you have decided which trailer is for you. Consider the FINAL price after your addons and options NOT the base price. It normally meand nothing. Many manufacturers have low base prices which don’t include important and desired features.

These usually depreciate the fastest. After the addons the cost of the stripped units can end up being over priced because of the "local" labor involved to install. In the end consider all the features you want, for each of the brands you’re considering, and then compare final price.

See camper types explained for the advantages and disadvantages of each major class of recreational vehicle on the market.


buy vanabode book

click to buy Vanabode which shows you how to happily live, travel and camp in your van forever on $20 a day

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